Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by OldRedCap, Feb 9, 2007.
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Retired officer debates pros and cons of mercenaries in Africa.
ORC this or something similar was published by the same mag in Dec 06 or Jan 07 with another 'Headline' I believe it was also debated on Arrse... somewhere. I cannot find the link at the moment...its not my fault, somebody left the brandy out.
Hasn't Tim Collins got a bit of an ulterior motive over this, allegedly.
Working for Aegis given the mention they get in the Acknowledgements section of his book:'I am grateful for the friendship of Lieutenant Colonel Tim Spicer OBE, Ronnie Patterson and all the staff at Aegis Defence Systems who gave me things to do when I was bored with writing...'
Things to do indeed...
I must say I'm shocked I had imagined a bit of photocopying.
Mercenaries didn't always use to be a dirty word (like crevice). Medieval times had many mercs (like genoese crossbowmen) working fairly effectively for the french and italians. German Landsnecks and swiss pikmen were the renaissance mercs of note.
While it wasn't an honourable job, certainly nothing to be ashamed of ... and occasionally extremely well paid.
Tim Collins is a smart guy and knows his history ... Wither Aegis or any other merc company is up to providing a decent peacekeeping force is another matter entirely!
Would it really be so bad? The main problems to nail down that I can see is who would be in charge and legal responsibilities - if any of the contractors did anything wrong who do they answer to. If you can sort those out, have the funding and try to hire only from the respectable - a subjective term I know - end of the market it could work in places like Africa. When all you have to do is stump up the cash rather than put national personnels lives on the line, I think countries would probably be more open to intervening in situations.
To your examples I suppose you could add the armies of the East India Company before 1857: if not the private military companies of today then the military of a private company effectively subcontracted to work in defence of/pursuit of a national interest.
Peacekeeping the UN could be seen to do well: when two sides want to stop fighting they can help out. Stopping people who want to fight from fighting is another matter. Maybe there are cases where the the UN could contract PMCs to 'even out' conflicts to the point where no side is confident of militarily realising their aims and want to make peace, cue the UN....
Mercenary..second oldest job in the world!!
What came first, the chicken or the egg?
I think that the other profession came second to service the needs of the mercenaries.
On a serious note, IMHO there are no merceneries without some sort of official sanction from one of the big boys in the G8 or Davos playground.
Thats DAVOS the place, not DAVROS the dalek.
There is a continuing use of mercenries that has ocurred in Europe for centuries. The worst culprit is the Vactican for employing all of those damned Swiss guard.
What motive is that then?
I can't see him needing to stir up emotions to gain media coverage.
He is also very charismatic and can throw a wonderful tantrum (not nice to be on the end of).
I personally don't like the man (because he told me off), but i do respect him (because he apologised).
Don't forget that the origins of the Vaticans Swiss Guard were that of a mercenary force
Pretty good film on the subject: http://www.shadowcompanythemovie.com/
...... and 'our' use of Gurkas?
Separate names with a comma.